'Eternal life' project aims to help humans live forever as 'robots'

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Within 30 years you'll be able to live forever - so long as you don't mind spending eternity as a robot.

Russian multi-millionaire Dmitry Itskov has announced plans to develop technology which will allow human memories and personality to an online avatar which can survive for eternity.

Mr Itskov, a Moscow media mogul, is spearheading the "2045 Initiative," which, as it's name suggests, he claims will be ready by the year 2045.

His team of sponsored scientists believe the human brain is extremely similar to a computer so will eventually be able to be transferred to a number of upgradable "bodies".

In a forthcoming BBC Horizon documentary, the businessman said: "If there is no immortality technology, I'll be dead in the next 35 years."

He added: "The ultimate goal of my plan is to transfer someone's personality into the new artificial carrier. Different scientists call it uploading or they call it mind transfer. I prefer to call it personality transfer."

Mr Itskov's research team has reportedly been paying close attention to the case of Erik Sorto, a quadriplegic who is part of California Institute of Technology research into a similar form of "uploading".

The research is attempting to use computers to determine what Mr Sorto is thinking, and is even part of a trial to merge his brain with a robotic limb.

The documentary, entitled The Immortalist, is set to be broadcast on 16 March.